Professional Advocacy



Professional Advocacy



The Arc of Calhoun County is the area’s leading resource for information and guidance regarding individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Not only are we at the forefront of advocating through public policy; we also offer several options for community members, businesses, and organizations to help us educate and inform others for both awareness and professional purposes.



Self-Advocacy Resources:

Making My Own Healthcare Decisions – For People with Disabilities

Debunking the Myths of Supported Decision-Making and Guardianship

Public Policy

The Arc of Calhoun County understands how important public policy is to the work we are doing here. That’s why we are dedicated to advocating for the community we serve, whether that’s here locally, in Lansing, or in D.C. Our advocacy does not end until our government and public policy address the barriers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face.

Conferences/Public Speaking

The Arc of Calhoun County’s Executive Director, Leah Ortiz LMSW-Clinical, has spoken at a variety of conferences and seminars. Leah Ortiz is a nationally recognized expert on alternatives to guardianship. The hope of our presentations is to inspire audiences to take action, speak truth to the system we are living in, and what we can do to improve. 

Alternatives to Guardianship Advice Counseling

The Arc of Calhoun County strongly advocates against the assignment of guardianship for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We believe there are a plethora of alternatives that will provide the same safety and protection guardianship claims to offer. The Arc of Calhoun County encourages anyone considering guardianship to speak to us about the less-restrictive alternatives available.

Professional/Workplace Trainings

The Arc of Calhoun County is the local disability organization that provides top-of-the-line professional and workplace trainings. Workplace Inclusion, Education Inclusion, Person-Centered Planning, and Alternatives to Guardianship are just some of the topics we provide training on. The Arc of Calhoun County is also an important piece of the Calhoun County Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) that is helping first responders throughout the County better serve people with disabilities.

When We're Gone Workshop

The Arc hosts a semi-annual workshop focusing on Person-Centered Planning for the future. This is a FREE two-part future planning workshop for families with children with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Topics of discussion include Person-Centered Planning, where to find support, estate planning, MiABLE, Social Security Benefits, National Family Caregivers Program, Alternatives to Guardianship, and more! Visit the website often or give us a call to see when the next When We’re Gone event will take place.

The Arc Professional Advocacy


If you are interested in learning more about any of the above services that Professional Advocacy offers, please contact Leah for more information at 269.966.2575.